Sophomore psychology major Gabi Siguenza didn’t break any significant records during her high school track career. But that changed in college, and Siguenza now holds the Chapman record for the 400-meter hurdle event. She’s even found herself breaking this record multiple times this season with a current school record time of 1:06.06.
During the track team’s tournament April 28, Siguenza clocked her 400-meter hurdle in at 1:07.42, placing seventh in the event at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
“I want to keep rebreaking that record,” Siguenza said. “I also want to be able to score for my team and contribute to our team getting better as a whole, whether it be on relays or scoring at individual events.”
Siguenza helped bring home another school record at the championship meet this weekend. With a time of 4:08.29, the women’s 4-by-400 meter relay team – which consisted of Siguenza, sophomore Tish Tajii and freshmen Angelica Kolar and Carly Trent – also came in seventh place.
Though Siguenza’s performs well at an individual level, women’s track and field head coach DeAndra’e Woods said he is more focused on the team as a whole rather than individual achievements.
“I’m not really big on individuals standing out, but all my athletes work really hard,” Woods said. “(Siguenza) truly understands that there is an opportunity for her to get better and help her team; she’s very competitive and that makes her stand out more.”
Siguenza said her parents, who both ran track in high school, are her biggest fans.
“They love to hear about my track career here and they wish they could be at every meet,” Siguenza said. “They were super excited to hear when I broke the record.”
At Chapman, Siguenza turns to Woods for support and guidance.
“(The team’s) expectation is to come to practice, work hard and have fun. That’s how we have fun – by working hard,” Woods said. “We started at the bottom of the conference and now it’s time to do the best we can to climb up the ladder.”
Siguenza’s teammates look to her as a confident, talented athlete. Siguenza’s teammate, sophomore public relations and advertising major Maddie Jacobs, also has high regard for Siguenza’s achievements.
“She’s grown as a person throughout her time and she’s definitely become a stronger leader,” Jacobs said. “That’s something that has really helped her confidence and helps her find her passion with hurdling. She keeps believing in herself more, which allows her to keep breaking all the records she’s been breaking.”
Woods said he is excited to see how Siguenza progresses from this point onward, after placing seventh April 28. The track team has two nonconference meets May 3 and May 11, before heading to the NCAA Division III championship May 23 in Geneva, Ohio.